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Obama Attacks Coal, Mary Landrieu Does Some Damage Control

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mary Landrieu2%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard2% has a Heritage Action scorecard score of 2 percent — something that should make conservatives cringe.  Her score demonstrates that with almost every vote she takes, she diminishes our freedom and prosperity and grows big government.

In light of the votes she’s taken in the Senate, it’s almost humorous that on one very important issue, she’s trying desperately to distance herself from President Obama and the left: coal.

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Email Your Senators to Oppose the EXPIRE Act

This week, the Senate is expected to consider the Expiring Provisions Improvement, Reform, and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act of 2014 (S. 2260) sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ron Wyden4%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard4%. The EXPIRE Act would temporarily extend more than 50 expiring tax provisions pertaining to individual and business taxpayers and the energy sector through 2015.

The Senate’s tax extenders — and indeed the entire process surrounding the extension of expiring tax provisions — is one of the most egregious examples of Washington using its powers to prop up well connected interests.

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Conservatives Ditch Bush-era Energy Policy

Our nation’s energy policy has not undergone substantial, congressional-driven change since 2007.  And yes, that was the year Washington decided to ban the incandescent light bulb.  Fortunately, conservatives in Congress are now developing innovative, free-market solutions that promise to create and secure jobs while reducing everyday costs for all Americans.  I run through four of the most impressive bills in my Foundry column this week:

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Cory Gardner57%House Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard57% has taken the lead on expediting the approval process for liquified natural gas (LNG) exports. This may seem like a small issue, but Gardner’s Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act would address the natural gas permitting backlog that has been preventing America from taking full advantage of one of the most promising domestic sources of energy. That would create jobs here at home and, as many others have pointed out, help undermine Russia’s strategy of energy extortion abroad. 

Read the  rest to see how Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Jim Bridenstine91%House Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard91%Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ted Cruz93%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard93%Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ted Cruz93%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard93%Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mike Lee96%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard96% and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Mike Pompeo87%House Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard87% are changing the energy dynamics within the Republican Party.

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Capitol Building

Heritage Expert Defines ‘Volunteer’ for Senators

“A big part of the definition of “volunteer” is not getting paid to do it.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris,  an economic policy analyst, has had to clarify this definition for some lawmakers who think that the energy efficiency building codes in their bill are still ‘voluntary’ if states and tribal groups are paid to follow them.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Rob Portman54%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard54% and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Jeanne Shaheen6%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard6%, sponsors of the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013, seem to think their bill conforms to free-market principles — or at least that’s how they’re selling it.  

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Email Your Senator to Oppose the Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill

Next week, the Senate is likely to consider the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 (S. 2262). Introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Jeanne Shaheen6%Senate Democrat AverageSee Full Scorecard6% and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Rob Portman54%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard54% it claims to promote energy savings in industrial and commercial buildings. The bill provides taxpayer-funded federal incentives to make building and manufacturing processes more efficient, but these “incentives” would burden taxpayers and consumers alike while producing no tangible benefits. They are also duplicative of federal and state efforts.

This inappropriate intervention comes in the form of ‘voluntary’ federal mandates and taxpayer funded subsidies for energy efficiency updates in state government and tribal buildings. Specifically, Heritage notes, “The bill authorizes $200 million of taxpayer money to “incentivize and assist” states and tribal groups to meet allegedly voluntary building codes.”

As Heritage notes, only the free-market has been proven to decrease costs and increase efficiency in energy production. The federal government’s role in energy efficiency should be limited to providing information to consumers make well-informed decisions. This legislation allows the government to overstep its boundaries.

Use the POPVOX form below and tell your Senators that the Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill is bad policy and should be opposed.

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